Secrets to Your Best Vacation Photos Yet


These days our cell phones have replaced the need for digital cameras since they take fantastic photographs with minimal effort. But have you noticed that some people are able to take photographs that look professional, even though they use the same cell phone as you? Well, there are a few simple tricks that they know and we want to share with you so that on your next vacation, you can take your “phonetography” skills to the next level and create some memorable photographs to document your trip.

Secrets to Lighting

  • Avoid using flash photography when possible: Our phone cameras are highly developed and very sensitive to light- using flash washes people out and highlights details that you might otherwise not like to see… plus, it takes extra battery life to use. Instead of leaving your flash on “auto”, consider turning it to “off”.
  • Take advantage of “The Golden Hour”: The term “The Golden Hour” refers to the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset because of the flattering golden light the sun casts. These are great times to capture pictures as the light bathes everything in an ethereal glow.
  • Make use of your HDR setting: If you are like most people, you might not know what the HDR setting is on your phone; it stands for High Dynamic Range and is your best friend in lower-light settings, super-bright settings and for landscapes. When you use the HDR setting, your phone takes three pictures simultaneously at different exposures, then blends them together to give you the best contrast possible.

Secrets to Taking Pictures of Others

  • Action shots and candid photos are best: As you know, sometimes the best photos come when you least expect them. Instead of trying to get pictures of your loved ones posing, just start snapping! The beauty of the digital-era is that you have enough space to take as many pictures as needed and delete the bad ones. You’re sure to capture a special moment!
  • Get on the kid’s level: When taking pictures of children, consider kneeling down to the same height as them. You’ll get more 20151212_154456meaningful pictures that can show the world from their eyes.
  • Include locals: Don’t be afraid to let a stranger or two appear in your photos, especially the local people! Their presence can give your photo a context it might not otherwise have, just remember to ask if it is okay to take their photo.

Secrets to Using Your Camera

  • Make use of the camera grid: When we take pictures we tend to always place the subject of the photo in the center. If you have your camera grid feature turned on, it’s an easy way to follow “the rule of thirds” and break free from the centered shot. Take the picture so that the main subject is in one of the grids intersection lines, and you’ll see the photo will tell an entirely different story. Screenshot_2016-02-24-11-43-59
  • Pretend your zoom feature doesn’t exist: Many people think that the best way to get an up-close shot means zooming-in. While the zoom feature on phones has greatly improved, it is generally true that you will get a higher quality picture if you take a regular photo and crop it close to what you want to see rather than zoom-in to the subject.
  • Take your phone to the water: Yes, really! There are cases for your phone that are watertight and allow you to submerge your phone into depths up to 6 feet of water, giving you ample time to get fun water shots and pictures of undersea adventures.

Additional Tips:

  • Take photos of unique details- get up close to interesting textures, plants, or local signs (especially if they are in a
    different language).
  • If you have kids with you, consider giving them a camera- you’ll get an entirely new perspective of your trip!
  • No one likes bad weather at the beach, but you can get some really interesting and fun pictures in the rain. Take advantage of it!
  • Try to not leave your camera on for extended periods of time when not using it, otherwise you’ll drain your battery!

We’d love to see your shots and feature them on a future Travel Tuesday! Send us your favorites at


Vacation Express, one of the largest tour operators in the southeast United States, has been in business for over 25 years. Air/land and hotel-only packages are offered to nearly twenty popular tropical destinations offering flight options on all U.S. and other major airline partners. Today Vacation Express is a member of family-owned and operated, Toronto-based Sunwing Travel Group Inc., Canada's leading vertically integrated leisure travel company.

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